Two years ago, a classic but neglected International Harvester truck was sent to Jacksonville, Florida, to be fully restored. When the vehicle completed its trip from Houston, Texas, it was inspected before work began. A man pulled back a quarter panel to discover a large colony of bees complete with honeycombs. It appeared the bees had been there for quite some time, entering the old truck through areas that had rusted through.
The restorer called for professional help, and the panel was completely cut away from the vehicle. Not only was there a large, active colony but also older, abandoned ones lining the interior of the wheel well. The bees were carefully removed from the panel and taken to a new hive.
Bees play an important role on the planet. Aside from helping to support numerous ecosystems, they pollinate approximately one third of all the food that humans eat. Nearly 85 percent of crops, which account for 400 plant varieties, require bee and other insect pollination to boost quality and increase yield.
In recent years, the number of bees has drastically decreased in the United States because of a phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder. The problem is thought to be linked to pesticide use.